Helzberg offers a proprietary diamond cut called the Radiant Star. They say it “has been scientifically revealed to outshine other diamonds”. Furthermore, they say the “Helzberg Radiant Star®’s proprietary 145-facet design maximizes light return to achieve a striking sparkle not found in any other diamond.”
- Helzberg Radiant Star diamond rings w/ certified, better alternatives
- Helzberg “Radiant Star” Diamonds: 145 facets don’t mean more brilliance. Here’s why.
Should you buy a Helzberg Radiant Star®?
I urge caution, and here’s why: I don’t see that it gets a diamond grading report from any 3rd party lab.
Here’s why that’s important: 3rd party labs such as the GIA, AGS, and IGI came into being in the middle of last century as “referees” for the claims that diamond retailers were making.
Consumers usually aren’t equipped to judge the quality of a diamond. Or even to compare very many. A retailer could make all kinds of claims. In general, the 3rd-party labs grade diamonds blindly — without knowing who is selling them. So if you have a GIA, AGS, or IGI diamond report (you should always have one, or not even consider buying the diamond), you know what you’re getting.
It’s like having an independent expert mechanic carefully check out a luxury used car you’re about to buy. Or, it’s like having a professional, independent, expert home inspector inspect a home you’re about to buy.
Never buy a diamond without a diamond certificate from the GIA, AGS, or IGI.
I don’t see that the Helzberg Radiant Star® diamonds have such. (You can look for yourself, under the “details” tab of any Helzberg Radiant Star® diamond product page. That’s where Helzberg usually notes any diamond certificate. But I’m just not seeing it there or anywhere else on the page.
“But they say it outshines all other diamonds! They say it has 145 facets!”
Sorry, but that doesn’t mean much. All due respect but the entity selling the diamond is saying that about the diamond. Do they also have a 3rd-party lab vouching for it?
As I’ve said, I’m not finding that they do.
Just because a diamond has 145 facets (compared to a Round Brilliant’s usual 58 or 60 facets), doesn’t mean that it necessarily is more brilliant.
What if the depth is wrong on your particular Radiant Star®? That will totally kill the brilliance. What if the symmetry is uneven? That’ll kill the brilliance too. What if the polish is bad? What if there’s a massive inclusion running through it? What if the shape isn’t proportional?
And anyway, what are the right proportions to get maximum brilliance from this supposedly awesome 145-facet diamond cut? No 3rd-party lab is publishing that information. Probably because it doesn’t exist? I don’t know. But I can’t find it.
Maybe that information is known. But why then isn’t it published. And why aren’t labs such as the AGS, GIA, or IGI grading Radiant Star® diamonds? To my knowledge (and I think I’d know, and I haven’t found it with some searching) the Helzberg Radiant Star® is not graded by any independent lab whatsoever. So… we as consumers are right to be skeptical.
The Round Brilliant cut is the one which the Radiant Star® is obviously intended to compete with. The Round Brilliant has been around for a century or so. Its performance is well known. Trained gemologists can measure the depth, the proportions, the facets sizes and angles, and can predict via math the light performance of any given diamond. They have the formulas.
And they can observe the light performance of a Round Brilliant cut. And measure it. And they do. And they publish all their findings on individual diamonds which you can then buy. That’s what a diamond grading report (often called a diamond certificate) is.
And that’s why it’s so important to demand to see a diamond certificate from the GIA, AGS, or IGI for any diamond costing more than a couple hundred dollars (meaning, any diamond that you’d consider for an engagement ring).
Given all that, in my considered opinion, the Helzberg Radiant Star® is way overpriced.
The Helzberg offer: $11,999.
The SKU for this ring at Helzberg is 2294985.
See the ring live at Helzberg, unless it’s discontinued.
The James Allen MUCH better price of $8,467 and $5,577 (on IGI-certified, Round Brilliant diamond rings with objectively better specifications)
Earth-created diamond (apples to apples): $8,467 (A savings of $3,532!)
Lab-Created Diamond (also apples to apples, quite frankly) for $5,577 (A savings of $6,422!)
Specs compared directly
Each of these diamonds — the Helzberg, and the two James Allens — are right at 2 carats.
Helzberg diamond in this ring is I1-Clarity:
I1 Clarity, above, is not great at all. Especially at this expensive price point. You’re going to definitely see some inclusions (flaws) in it.
James Allen earth-created diamond example is SI2-Clarity:
That’s 2 entire Clarity grades better than the Helzberg diamond.
Even better, it’s certified by the IGI. (The Helzberg diamond is certifed by … they don’t tell us. So of course it’s natural that we give more credibility to the IGI.)
James Allen lab-created diamond example is VS2-Clarity:
That’s a massive 4 entire grades of Clarity better than the Helzberg diamond!
Color (Note that the perfectly colorless grade is “D”. There are no such grades as A, B, or C.)
Helzberg diamond color in this ring ranged from Color H to I.
Since I’m looking out for you, I’d definitely advise you to err on the side of “I”, not “H”. Why? It’s just my opinion, but I think that without a 3rd-party lab’s grading certificate, I should err on the side of the worse color.
The James Allen earth-created diamond in this example has the Color I.
I don’t love the color “I” at this size. You could fiddle with the diamond filters (see below) at James Allen to bump it up to a higher quality. And you’re still going to save a lot of money. You’re still going to come in way under the cost of Helzberg’s diamond in this example.
The James Allen lab-created diamond in this example has the Color H.
(I wanted to compare diamonds of very close color grades, so that you could see directly the vast difference in price. But again, note that you can fiddle with the filters at the James Allen diamond search page [see below for preset filters], and bump up the color grades of your selection. And you’ll still save tons of money, compared to the Helzberg offer.
How to get the James Allen deals
At James Allen, you don’t just add a ring to cart and check out. It’s slightly more complex. And much better in price and selection. It’s much more interesting (and gives you more control and choice).
Here’s how to do it:
- You choose a setting (the metal ring, which in some cases comes with accent diamonds).
- Then you choose a loose diamond to add to it.
But it’s not as hard as it may seem. In fact it’s easy.
At least, it’s easy if you have someone walking you through it for the first time.
Here’s exactly how to get these deals (or very similar deals) at James Allen:
1. Select this 14K white gold setting. (It’s available on the same page in 14K, 18K as well, also in yellow gold and rose gold, or even in Platinum. Just choose them from the drop down on the setting product page.)
2. For the diamond, go to these pre-set James Allen diamond search results and select a diamond from the first 2 or 3 diamonds in the list.
(James Allen diamonds are unique, so I can’t send you straight to a specific diamond. It would sell out quickly. But there are many many others in the inventory. The price will be close to what you see here.
Also, of course the inventory is always changing, so you may see slightly different prices when you search.)
3. To save even more, choose a Lab-Created diamond by using this preset diamond search filter.
4. Add the setting and the diamond to your cart and check out.
Conclusion: You shouldn’t buy this Helzberg Radiant Star® ring. You can save up to $6,433 dollars and get a certified, objectively much better diamond ring.
We’ve looked at a representative Helzberg Radiant Star® diamond engagement ring in this review.
And we’ve discovered, at least in my opinion, that extreme caution is in order. You’ve also learned, in my review with screen shots, that you can get IGI-certified diamonds in engagement rings for far less than you’d pay for the Helzberg offer (which, as I’ve said, I’ve been unable to find out who or what lab graded them, if any).
And you don’t need a Helzberg coupon to do it. You don’t need any coupon. Or sale. (Ring settings sometimes go on sale. But good diamonds themselves never really are discounted much at all, if at all.
You just need to know how to search a diamond database, as I’ve shown you.
What would you use the extra $6,433 for?